Malick’s last was presented yesterday in Venice. How come there are no mentions at all on MUBI? The Oscars and Cannes were deservedly well-covered from the site (especially via its Notebook section), while the #3 film festival of the World seems a little forgotten over here.
By the way, ‘To the Wonder’ was booed and applauded, so I am really looking forward to this.
Umberto, I am still not totally won over by Malick, but I would not miss any of his films. This one sounds particularly intriguing, and might turn out to be my favorite.
booed and applauded
Yeah, that seems par for the course for a festival screening. It basically tells us that the movie provoked reactions, which is a good sign, even if the movie doesn’t turn out to be so good.
To The Wonder is one of my most anticipated films of this year (assuming it’s released this year), second only to The Master. I skimmed this Venice Review/Reaction – but otherwise I try to avoid all reviews for films I care about until after I see them.
Time Magazine chimed in—-
I’ll probably see it, but if it is more of the same TREE OF LIFE glop, I can’t say I’m looking forward to it.
The fact that Affleck is in it kind of puts me off, but Tree Of Life was quite a good life, esp on second viewing, and i preferred it to the New World, so i’ll check it out.
Don’t worry, Joks. In typical Malick fashion, Affleck’s role was cut down substantially in the editing room. Think Adrien Brody in The Thin Red Line; although, not quite to that extreme.
Ive heard stories about Malick’s cutting. It’s the reason why Christopher Plummer won’t work with him anymore.
I love his movies, but he doesn’t sound that cool of a guy when it comes to the editing room… Going through the Wikipedia, plenty of actors starred in TRL and had all of their scenes (or most of them) tossed.
And yet other actors have come back for more Malick. Sean Penn. Ben Chaplin. Though I can’t name many…
Of course, Malick’s films are made in the editing room in a lot of ways. He’s like a writer, and the initial shoot is just his first draft. There are many drafts after that, and the final product might not come out anything like the original production. Besides, if an actor like Plummer were working with Malick because he thinks that Malick might win him an Academy Award for acting or something, then Plummer don’t know Malick. Malick’s films are not showcases for the actors. Never have been. And thus far it seems they never will be.
Terrence Malick is my favorite filmmaker right now. He really is the poster boy for the “love him or hate him” character. Every film festival is the same thing. News Headlines: Terrence Malick’s New Film Booed By Audiences. They often ignore the fact that the other half of the crowd loves it. Whenever Tree of Life came out I remember telling someone, “looks like Malick may have made a flop” because everything I saw about it (Though i didn’t read too much into them because I didn’t want anything spoiled) referenced the negative criticism. When I saw Tree of Life finally I was blown away, and I’ve watched through it probably ten times, twice in theaters, one theater I drove three and half hours for. I’m sure this film will be great for Malick fans, those who hate him will keep hating him I guess.
I don’t know what it is about him but I’m such a big Malick fan that I am personally insulted when someone says bad things about his work. It may be that Days of Heaven is what really got me into film.
I am guessing there is no mention of ‘To The Wonder’ because few filmgoers who attended the screenings in Venice or Toronto also make comments on Mubi forums. I will say I have two friends [both with different tastes] who saw it and both liked it as much or more than ‘The Tree of Life’.
Most of the reviews for ‘The Tree of Life’ were actually very positive. In the year-end IndieWire and Village Voice poll of all critics polled it was #1 so I am not sure what negative reviews you read. It could have been backlash reviews – of which there are always some due to the overhype in our current movie marketing satuated world.
The reviews actually did end up being mostly positive. However the reaction news articles were negative. When I say reaction I mean the “I have to post something online as soon as possible for traffic” articles that come out before reviews. If you checked the day after or the day of the first Tree of Life screening, it didn’t look good.
I don’t doubt that based on what early reviews you saw you are correct. I follow the Cannes film festival fairly closely and last year the Cannes coverage on Mubi was very good. This is the page I first saw reviews of The Tree of Life. Most are very positive. At least enough to get most viewers excited.
From the wonderful Rex Reed:
In the pile of pretentious, incomprehensible gibberish that keeps film festivals going and multiplex audiences heading for the exit doors, make a note to avoid Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder,a lethally boring 112-minute fiasco that is like watching milk curdle. As much as I hated last year’s Malick Muddle, The Tree of Life, this simpering dreck makes that one look like an action epic with Stallone and Schwartzenegger combined. Plotless and almost mute, it features Ben Affleck as a meandering misfit in Paris who meets a woman and returns with her to Oklahoma for the wedding, but the relationship peters out and he wafts into the arms of an old childhood sweetheart, played by gorgeous Rachel McAdams. No Tree of Life dinosaurs this time, but nothing else happens either, and you can count the lines of dialogue on one hand. It usually takes Mr. Malick an average of 10 years between films. In four decades, he’s only made four. This one he should have burned after four days.
Rex Reed’s the worst.
“but nothing else happens either”
Ive heard nothing but overwhelming distaste or just plain hate for this movie, but the criticism of “nothing happens” is one of the worst out there.
lol @ Rex Reed forever
" Malick’s films are not showcases for the actors."
No, they aren’t, but i at least expect convincing performances, or at least ‘presences’, from the actors involved.
That was one of the main reasons i couldn’t get into The New World.
The trailer makes it looks like more glop in the TREE OF LIFE-style. I’ll go, but not happily.
Very much anticipating this, whether people claim it’s not as strong as Malcik’s other films or not. This definitely appears to resemble The Tree of Life more than any of his other works and as always, Lubezki’s killing it.
That Rex Reed quote makes me want to see To The Wonder a lot. If it’s basically Tree of Life minus 90% of the structure, then I’m pretty pumped. From what I heard about it, I was really surprised how much plot there was in Tree of Life. I would be all for a Mulholland Drive or Inland Empire that favored the transcendant rather than just disturbing and nauseating…
Anyways, but, to be honest I typically will like a movie most of the time the critics like it. If so many film people were into something, i’ll usually try and find what it was that attracted people to it. On the other hand, i’m much more forgiving if critics don’t like something. I saw the weaknesses in Anna Karenina, but loved it on another level too much to agree. So sometimes i’ll like stuff they didn’t like.
It was at TIFF 2012, got myself tickets to the festival and a bus ride to Canada. Whoever said it was ‘like the b-movie to Tree of Life’ said it best.
Same weird narrative situation. OK a lot more weird.
Affleck has literally like two lines in it.
TONS of inner monologue.
Some characters (Bardem, the blonde) that seemed to have a short amount of time (the editing!)
Seemed to be a bit to long
Yet I left the theater feeling like I was in Malick-land and enjoyed that feeling. Visually appetizing and that aspect never got old. I thought it was pretty good to say something concrete. I loved Tree of Life, but it would be a real shame if he keeps up this trend and doesn’t head down some sort of different path. It was a bit too similar. I gave it a 4/5, but I can see it going to a 3. I’m a real sucker for Malick and most of the other movies I saw at the festival were passable unfortunately.. So yeah
I’m seeing this tomorrow, it’s first day of release in the UK, really excited. I’ll get back here on my thoughts.
Samuel in Space, Joey Noodles.
You can read my review on the film on it’s page